Bacon-wrapped smoked meatloaf studded with cubes of cheddar is the dinner entree you've been missing your entire life. You only need a handful of ingredients for the best meatloaf you have ever tasted.
Bacon-covered anything gets my attention. I am sure this will get your attention as well. Smoked Meatloaf covered in bacon. It is basically your bacon cheddar burger minus the bun. You’re welcome!
I have never really been a meatloaf fan. My mom used to make meatloaf in a loaf pan in the oven. I remember it being dry (Sorry, Mom!). It isn’t a good sign when you feel a better use of the ground meat would have been Hamburger Helper. Early in our marriage, my wife made an incredible yummy meatloaf. She has since turned it into a burger as well, but I remember it being the best meatloaf ever. Click here for that recipe. Since then I have been more open to the idea of meatloaf and I think we have found a real winner here.
But what makes a good meatloaf? It has to have well seasoned and cooked meat. Give it pops of flavor. I used cubes of cheddar. Cover it in bacon so that the fat slowly bastes it as it cooks. Cook it on the smoker so that you get all that flavor and can better monitor the meatloaf’s internal temperature to keep from overcooking. And there you have it with this amazing Smoked Meatloaf recipe.
You can use whatever ground meat you love. I made these 100% grass-fed beef. If you wanted to mix some ground pork in, you could do that as well. The ingredients are simple, ground beef, cubed cheddar, bacon slices, and salt and pepper for seasoning.
How to Make Smoked Meatloaf
When I was originally putting this together, I was going to make beef patties, put them on the grill and cover them with cheddar and bacon. But then I thought, let me do this slowly on the smoker. And honestly, if one of the kids didn’t want meatloaf, they could take a thick slice and put it on their bun and enjoy it as a burger!
First Step: Put your ground beef into a large mixing bowl and season well. Work the beef with your hands to make sure the seasoning gets thoroughly incorporated into the meat.
Second Step: Add the cubes of cheddar. I made medium-sized cubes with the cheddar, I wanted them to be big enough that they would still be a bite of cheddar even if it really melted. When I incorporated the cheddar cubes in the loaf, I made sure to push them into the meat. I didn’t want the cheese on the outside of the loaf in case they just completely melted away.
Third Step: Cover with bacon. You can do a fancy weave with the bacon by just layering each slice on the way I did. When I am making comfort food, and this is comfort food. I need it to be easy or it doesn’t really provide that much comfort!
Step Four: Once the loaf is covered with bacon, place it on the preheated smoker. You will want to cook this meatloaf between 250°F and 275°F. If you have a meat probe for your thermometer, stick it in the loaf now. We are going to cook this to an internal temperature of about 150F. Cook time will be about 2 hours. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then serve.
How to Serve Smoked Meatloaf
You can easily just slice this and serve it. It has a ton of flavor and the textures are fantastic. A crusty bacon exterior with a juicy and cheesy interior. If you want to add a little more flavor, you can serve this with your favorite bbq sauce. I mentioned earlier, you can even slice it and treat it as a burger. Serve it on a bun with your favorite burger toppings as well. This meatloaf is very versatile.
Variations & Flavors
Jalapeno Popper - Mix in some sliced jalapenos and then serve with a simple cream cheese sauce by mixing softened cream cheese with a little butter and cream.
Hawaiian - Swap out the cheddar for some of our Smoked Pineapple. It sounds a little strange but it is amazingly delicious!
Mushroom Swiss - Mix in lightly sauteed mushrooms and onions and cubes of swiss cheese in place of the cheddar cheese.
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 4 oz cheddar cheese cubed
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon dried minced onion
- 9 oz bacon slices approximately 6-12 slices
- Combine beef, cheddar, salt, garlic, and onion into a large mixing bowl and mix it together until seasoning and cheese are well distributed through the beef.
- Form the beef into a football-shaped loaf and place it on a cooking tray or cutting board.
- Take the bacon one slice at a time and wrap the beef being sure to slightly overlap each slice of bacon until the meatloaf is completely covered.
- Place in preheated smoker and smoke between 250°F and 275°F for approximately 2 hours until the internal temperature reaches 150°F.
- Once done smoking. Remove from grill, let it rest for 15 minutes. Then slice and serve.